While I was chasing my dream as a musician, I had gotten my family into a pretty tough situation financially. I didn’t know what to do and kept saying, “I’ll figure something out,” but I never could. My wife and I were down to one car that was in rough shape. The AC was long gone. The driver’s side window wouldn’t roll up and down. The back driver side taillight was just a ton of red tape peeling off, blowing in the wind, and the back passenger side tire was a donut.
We taught the kids to duck down at red lights since there weren’t enough seatbelts. I’m not sure how much money we had in the bank, but we were definitely not able to afford another vehicle. Been there?
Our friends Craig and Laura Cooper were kind enough to let us borrow their van from time to time. This went on for a month or so while I chased my tail looking for a Band-Aid to stop the bleeding. Problem was, that the car was just one out of a dozen problems that kept me staring at the ceiling fan every night. Our house was reaching the age where every single appliance was dying. Our kids were in more activities than we could afford. My career was disappearing. My license plate should have said FAILURE on it.
One night my son had a baseball game. Just a regular weeknight experience for us all. When the game was over, our bunch headed back toward our car. I was surprised to see Craig standing in the parking lot. So, I walked up and said, “What in the world are you doing here?”
Craig was standing next to his van with a giant grin on his face. He was holding a piece of paper in one hand and a pen in the other.
“We just got a new car and want you guys to have our van.” He handed me the keys and the title and said, “All you’ve got to do is sign this, and it’s yours.”
“No, no way,” I said, taking a few angry steps back with my hands raised.
Craig responded saying, “Look, we don’t need the van anymore. We want your family to have this.”
“No, Craig. I can’t. I’m not taking your car.”
“Look, man, somebody did this for us once. Please, just let us do this for you.”
I teared up, reluctantly took the keys and the title, and hugged him.
When Jesus was asked by someone, “‘What must we do, to be doing the works of God? Jesus answered them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent” (John 6:28–29). People want to know what they have to do to be right with God. We want lists. We want the twelve-step programs. We want something that will give us a sense of accomplishment and achievement to show that we have somehow earned good standing with God. But Christianity is not about what we must do, it’s about what God has done.
Jesus lived a perfect life and then paid the full price for our redemption through His death on the cross on our behalf. Ultimately, any sacrificial love we show for one another on this earth is simply an echo of the kind of love God has for us in giving us His Son.
Adapted from Glad You’re Here: Two Unlikely Friends Breaking Bread and Fences by Walker Hayes & Craig Allen Cooper (© 2022). Published by Moody Publishers. Used by permission.